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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Filter by March, 2012

MP's salary and entitlements

The Remuneration Tribunal has today set MPs base salary at $185 000 effective from 15 March 2012. This amount was foreshadowed in the Tribunal’s statement and initial report released on the 15 December 2011. The setting of the base salary had been dependent on the Government introducing legislation to delink increases in base salary and additional salary with the benefits received by former members under the Parliamentary Superannuation Contributory Scheme 1948 (PCSS).Following the passage of the Remuneration and the other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 and the Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 this severing is complete. The Remuneration Tribun... Read more...

Working holiday makers and Australia’s hospitality and horticulture industries

  Reciprocal working holiday arrangements in Australia have been in place for many years. Working holiday makers have traditionally played an important role in supplying short term workers for the tourism, hospitality and horticulture industries in both urban and regional settings. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) acknowledges that the working holiday program is ‘a strong contributor of supplementary labour for industries needing short-term or seasonal workers, such as construction, hospitality and farming'. DIAC also anticipates that the number of working holiday makers and the demand for temporary entrants to address skill shortages will continue to grow. After fall... Read more...

Women in Australian Parliaments

  A new Background Note, Representation of Women in Australian Parliaments, published by the Parliamentary Library to coincide with International Women's Day, reveals that there are currently more women parliamentarians in the Senate than at any other time since Federation. However, despite occupying several high-profile roles, women are still significantly under-represented in Australian parliaments, comprising less than one-third of all parliamentarians and occupying less than one-quarter of all ministry positions. In addition, whilst the number of women in the Senate reached its highest point after the 2010 Commonwealth election, the number of women in the House of Representatives dec... Read more...

International Women's Day

Women all over the world have used International Women’s Day, March the 8th, to campaign about issues relevant to their local needs – from gender equity in the workplace to ending poverty and violence against women. Last year marked 100 years of the day’s fascinating and varied history. International Women’s Day continues to celebrate the great achievements of women, and turn our attention to the problems still faced by women.While in Australia and other Western countries International Women’s Day is usually associated with the United Nations and human rights discourse, women’s day celebrations have a more complicated history. From distinctly socialist beginnings, through expansion across co... Read more...

Casual vacancies in the Senate

On 27 February Labor Senator Mark Arbib announced his intention to resign from the Ministry and the Senate. His resignation from the Ministry took effect from 2 March, and he resigned from the Senate on 5 March. This FlagPost lists recent casual vacancies and describes the steps for filling them.The most recent Senate casual vacancy followed the resignation of Senator Helen Coonan on 22 August 2011. At a joint sitting of the two Houses of the Legislature of New South Wales held on 13 October 2011 in accordance with the provisions of section 15 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, Arthur Sinodinos was chosen as the replacement. Since 1901 there have been 134 occasions when a rep... Read more...

MPs moving straight into the Ministry

On 2 March 2012, the Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard announced Bob Carr would join the Senate and take on the role of Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr Carr becomes one of only eight Ministers moving straight into ministry on commencement in the Commonwealth Parliament. In two cases the new minister had no parliamentary experience at all; in the six other cases the appointee had prior parliamentary and ministerial experience in a State Parliament.Ministers with no previous parliamentary experienceWilliam Spooner (Liberal, NSW) was elected to the Senate at the 1949 election. His term commenced on 22 February 1950. Spooner was appointed Minister for Social Services in the Menzies Governme... Read more...

Asylum seekers, refugees and boats—links to the key Parliamentary Library papers

As you have probably noticed, the Parliament of Australia and the Parliamentary Library website has changed. While we have received lots of positive feedback about the new look and feel of the site, we are aware that some people have been having difficulty in finding publications they have previously referred to. Here are links to some of our most popular papers on asylum seekers, refugees and boat arrivals prepared by the immigration research team in the Parliamentary Library: J Phillips and H Spinks, Boat arrivals in Australia since 1976, statistical appendix updated January 2012E Karlsen, Developments in Australian refugee law and policy 2010–11, 2012 J Phillips and H Spinks, Immigration ... Read more...

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